The Ella Project was proud to produce a panel at the 2018 Music Cities Toronto: New Orleans: a Case Study on Cultural Heritage, Economic Development and Audience Development was moderated by Ella Project’s Ashlye Keaton, and featured Big Chief Howard Miller of the Creole Wild West discussing community engagement, Jordan Hirsch discussing A Closer Walk NOLA, and Melanie Merz discussing the latest developments with WWOZ.
This Summit was spearheaded in 2016 around the release of MusicCanada’s landmark Mastering a Music City report in 2015. This year, a follow up, Keys to a Music City, was released on May 12th. This new report focuses on many issues discussed recently in New Orleans, including the merits of a Night Mayor, revamping boards, and music offices, such as an export office.
Other highlights include La Chasse Balcon, a public performance organization in Montreal inspired by the porch concerts of Lafayette, public libraries launching music instrument lending programs, programming high quality concerts in small towns, and empowering under served youth in media production via public/non profit partnerships.
A major takeaway is that while New Orleans music continues to be celebrated worldwide, many cities and small towns across North America are devising their own deliberate music and culture strategies, and that our city has an opportunity to exchange with others and lead the dialogue around overarching music and culture policy. We also leave Canada so honored and humbled to speak on behalf of the amazing musicians, non profits, and audiences that make up our unique, strong culture. We look forward to working with our partners to enact positive changes to support an ecosystem where culture continues to thrive.